The Falcons elected not to wait to upgrade their offensive line, signing a capable starting right guard on the first day of free agency.
Falcons agree to terms with DT Paul Soliai and G Jon Asamoah, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
Terms of the contract were not immediately available, but this is a shrewd signing with Scott Pioli's fingerprints all over it. Pioli was the one who drafted Asamoah, and it's fair to suggest he's kept tabs on the 6'4", 305 pound guard since his departure from Kansas City. Despite his benching for Geoff Schwartz a year ago, Asamoah was clearly one of the best guards on the market, and getting him signed so quickly tells you the Falcons had him as their priority entering free agency.
Many reports have suggested that Asamoah will average about $4.5 million a year. If he starts and plays well, that might be a bargain.
Report: Jon Asamoah to sign $4.5 million deal with Falcons http://t.co/0nDHbPPVu8— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) March 11, 2014
Asamoah was my early pick for a right guard signing, both for his connection to Scott Pioli and his skill. He's extremely reliable in pass protection, if only average as a run blocking guard, and is just 26 years old. There should be no question as to whether he'll be the starting right guard, as he's immediately the best option on the roster and the kind of player who should be able to lock down the position for the next few seasons.
On the downside, many Chiefs fans who have watched him closely for years believe he's a better fit for a zone blocking scheme, and that he lacks strength. We'll have to hope they're wrong about that one, but certainly we have to be willing to accept that he's not going to be an enormous upgrade on Garrett Reynolds when it comes to opening holes for Steven Jackson and crew.
The Falcons have now crossed the most pressing need on the offensive line off their list, allowing them to focus on other priority positions. It's an encouraging start to free agency, and I welcome the next bit of news.
What do you think of this signing?